Easy as pie? Is pie really easy? It's easy to eat, but not always easy to make. Excellence is easy to appreciate and enjoy, but getting there takes a while. Join me in my Pursuit In Excellence. It won't be quick , but it will be worth it!
For me excellence revolves around motherhood and grandmahood. It is central to my many interests which I use to help my children develop their talents and have fun.
I share my journey here, The Homemaking Cottage and Arizona Mama. Be sure to see what else is cooking!
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Category Archives: Celebrations
I missed choosing a word of the year last year. But the 2015 word makes me smile, happiness.
The day after I decided on my 2015 word of the year, I thought about church discussions that happiness being fleeting and how we should strive to have joy. While joy is the ultimate long term goal, I don’t think I could achieve joy without ample happy experiences.
While I’m not looking for selfish moments of fleeting pleasure, I am hoping to discover what makes me happy. Often the simple question “Where do you want to go for dinner? overwhelms me. Even more than struggling with restaurant choices, this Christmas I realized I became accustomed to centering my celebration on making the holidays special for my children, I lost touch with what makes Christmas special for me.
I’ve spent so many years pleasing others, that I think it’s time to take a bit and focus on finding those things that make me happy, what makes me smile. For example, when I was packing up the Christmas decorations, I had to leave this little guy out just because I feel lighter every time I see it.
I was trying to think of a picture that embodies happiness and went to my Facebook friends for suggestions. They had great examples of what happiness looks like to them: family, service, nature, babies and the Holy Spirit started the list. But those things can be hard to capture in a single snapshot. I decided that my cute little Santa timer is going to be my happiness mascot and I’m going to make it a goal to share images throughout the year of simple things that brighten my day. I think I’ll call them Happiness Helpers!
Here’s to a year of smiles and happiness! I’d love your comments sharing your 2015 word or what makes you happy.
One of my favorite fall activities when I lived in California was a trip to Apple Hill to enjoy a caramel apple. Actually I enjoyed more than just caramel apples. I also enjoyed apple pies, apple fritters, apple cider and an occasional applesauce doughnut.
Since it’s a rather long drive to Apple Hill from Arizona, I had decided to make my own caramel apples this year. I had heard a few different tips, so I decided to search Pinterest for the perfect caramel apple. Alas I couldn’t find the perfect recipe, but I found several different recipes with a lot of good suggestions.
I couldn’t decide which one of the recipes would be best, instead I took parts from several of the recipes and came up with my own version of the best caramel apples.
- 5 medium apples
- Popsicle sticks (optional)
- 1 bag of caramels
- 1 Tbsp milk
- Extras: mini chocolate chips, mini M&M’s, chopped nuts
- Boil water with 1 teaspoon of vinegar
- Insert Popsicle sticks into apples, I used a fork instead to make it easier to cut my caramel apple into wedges
- Dip apples into boiling water and swirl to remove waxy residue from apples
- Towel dry
- Set apples on cookie sheet in the fridge to chill
- Melt caramels with milk
- Let melted caramels stand for one minute
- Dip apple and let excess caramel drip off
- Immediately roll apple in extras, if desired
- Place on wax paper covered cookie sheet and let cool.
Not only did I think they were super yummy, my kiddos agreed. We may live too far away to continue our Apple Hill tradition, but I think we came up with a good caramel apple substitute.
I wanted to make a Halloween treat for my friends at work, and I happened to have a little bit of candy corn I wanted to use. Like 3 pounds of candy corn. It was the perfect time to make a batch Monster Munch.
12 Cups popped popcorn
1/2 Pound vanilla bark
1 Cup candy corn
1/2 Cup Reese’s Pieces
- Put the popcorn in a big bowl; and I mean big!
- Add candy corn and Reese’s Pieces
- Melt vanilla bark, pour over popcorn and candy
- Mix well
- Spread on wax paper
- Break into chunks
- Feed to your favorite monsters!
I’m happy to report everyone enjoyed it and even shared with their friends. It was pretty fun being so popular at work that day!
The best part about this sweet treat is it’s quick,easy and you still have time to whip up a batch before the ghouls come out this Halloween.
I miss having little kids, it’s such a change. I love my teenagers; they’re not sassy or rebellious. But, I miss the “excuse” to celebrate silly little holidays, having weekly summer themes and the other fun kids activities splattered all over Pinterest. Granted, my teenagers will play along with my silliness – especially if there is food involved. But at this stage of the game they are just as content, if not more so, to hang out in their rooms with their noses in books. It’s weird feeling like an empty nester when we’re all home together.
I don’t think it’s just me though. Take a minute and compare the number of blogs focused on young kid activitiescompared to the number of with teen activities. It’s about a 1:5 ratio. I think there is a golden window for themed stay-at-home summer camps and ice chalk. That window quietly starts shutting as the kids approach junior high.
Maybe I’m also missing being a stay at home mom. I enjoy my job and I work for a great company. But it’s hard to get everything done, much less to find the time to make Groundhog Day cupcakes.
All the more reason to revamp my blog. I’m in a different place than when I started my blog all those years ago. My challenge to adjust to my current life has seeped over to how my blog no longer feels like me. I’m hoping a blog makeover will help me feel more comfortable here, and maybe help me on my journey to feel more comfortable in my own skin.